Pathfinder Module: Feast of Ravenmoor (PFRPG)

4.60/5 (based on 19 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: Feast of Ravenmoor (PFRPG)
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An adventure for 3rd-level characters

For decades, the tiny village of Ravenmoor has existed quietly on the upper reaches of the Lampblack River, far from the centers of civilization in Varisia. Linked to the outside world only by an overgrown, mostly forgotten trail, the villagers are comfortable with their isolation. Their ways are humble, quaint, and at times odd, and when travelers come, they find the town awkward and unmemorable. Certainly, the lack of a village inn, the oppressive humidity, and the bug-infested moors and swamps that surround the village do little to encourage visitors. When a clerk in the city of Magnimar discovers that, due to a clerical error, the village of Ravenmoor hasn’t paid taxes in years, a tax collector is sent to the distant community to settle accounts with its mayor. When the tax collector fails to return, however, a group of adventurers must travel to the town during its Founders’ Feast celebration to investigate his disappearance. Did he really make off with the taxes for himself, as the villagers suspect? Or did he never make it out of Ravenmoor at all?

Feast of Ravenmoor is an adventure for 3rd-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. It features a terrifying adventure set in a rural village in the frontier realm of Varisia, and a brand-new monster eager to torment and frighten unsuspecting adventurers.

Written by Brandon Hodge

Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-367-5

Feast of Ravenmoor is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (217 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Subscription.

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Classic Horror Homage

5/5

NO SPOILERS

Feast of Ravenmoor is a 32-page, full-colour (with excellent artwork) module for third-level characters. The adventure involves some classic horror tropes, but in a way that makes for a nice Pathfinder homage rather than clichéd storytelling. I played through this with my multi-classed psychic/monk and had a blast. It’s a module that doesn’t require ultra-optimized PCs, and it has a great mix of role-playing, mystery solving, and exciting set-piece action scenes. Having read through it for the purposes of this review, I’m also impressed by how non-railroady it is. Players have a lot of freedom to decide how to progress, and the GM is given good guidance on how to respond to different courses they may take. This isn’t a super-long or dense module—I’ve played some individual PFS scenarios that were far more complex. But Feast of Ravenmoor is an all-around excellent adventure and a good showcase for newer players on the fun that Pathfinder can offer.

SPOILERS!:

Feast of Ravenmoor is very much a classic horror story transplanted into a fantasy setting. There’s an isolated, backwards town of eccentric locals. There’s a secret cult that abducts outsiders and sacrifices them. There’s even a corn maze and a dark ritual for a final showdown! But although the plot isn’t exactly original, all the individual elements come together nicely for a really enjoyable adventure.

The adventure hook involves the PCs being hired by a government bookkeeper in Magnimar to investigate the recent disappearance of a tax collector sent to the remote village of Ravenmoor. The hook is simple and direct, and the module hand-waves the journey to Ravenmoor (instructing GMs they can place some mild wilderness encounters along the way if they want to).

The adventure really starts when the PCs get to Ravenmoor and start looking and asking around. Ravenmoor is a pretty strange village, with unusual local customs that are sure to get the adventurers’ attention. The first encounter sets the tone, as the PCs are accosted by an errant stirge that turns out to be a kid’s beloved pet! How the PCs deal with the stirge (my group killed it) affects the initial attitudes of several villagers. The first third of the module is pretty open-ended as the PCs investigate and gather clues. Eventually they’ll meet the town’s mayor, who invites the group to attend the “Founders’ Festival” later in the day (and to stay the night at his mansion since there’s no inn in town). The mayor, however, is the leader of an evil cult!

In a well-developed backstory that’s integral to the plot, Ravenmoor was infiltrated by a pair of faceless stalkers (shapechanging, blood-sucking aberrations) several decades ago. The faceless stalkers gradually turned some of the townspeople away from worshipping Desna to worshipping Ghlaunder, the evil god of disease and deception. Through monthly sacrifices, worship of Ghlaunder has brought prosperity and abundance to the village. But only about a quarter of the villagers are part of the cult, and most people in the village are perfectly nice and completely unaware of what’s going on. To help fully flesh out Ravenmoor, the inside front-cover of the module contains a map of the town, there’s a little gazetteer near the beginning, and a two-page appendix gives an overview at the end of the module. There’s a lot for the GM to work with in making Ravenmoor more than just a forgettable backdrop to an adventure.

The middle part of the adventure is also open-ended. The festival is well-developed, with descriptions of some (really gross) local foods and games that the PCs can participate in. (I might have to swipe some of the mechanics of the games for other adventures down the line). However, the PCs don’t have to attend the festival—my group didn’t because we were too busy skulking around the mayor’s house! There are clues there that point to what really happened to the tax collector. Despite several claims that he absconded with the tax money for Riddleport, he was last month’s human sacrifice! I enjoyed the investigation parts of the adventure, though admittedly my PC was perfectly suited for it what with his ability to occasionally read minds.

If the PCs don’t figure things out early and decide to stay the night (either in the mayor’s house or camping near the village), there’s an attempt by the cult to abduct a PC. The module admits the abduction is not likely to be successful, but guidance is given for what to do if it is. I really like how this scene is written as well. It’s a local family attempting the abduction because they don’t want their own daughter to be next, and if any member of the abduction team is hurt, the others rush to their aid.

Either through investigation or chasing after fleeing cultists, the PCs will find their way to a seemingly-abandoned farmhouse at the edge of the village. There’s some more classic horror elements here (a collapsing floor, a demonic scarecrow, misbegotten degenerates kept in the barn, etc.) before the big showdown in the corn maze. Here, the PCs have to navigate through the dark labyrinth while surviving hit-and-run attacks before reaching the center where the ritualistic human sacrifice is about to take place. The mayor and several cultists are here in full regalia, and, the best part, is that when the mayor is killed, a massive demonic insect-thing bursts out of his chest! It’s a very exciting and effective piece of body-horror and a good twist for players who think they’ve just won.

The module takes the time to offer some useful advice on what happens to Ravenmoor after the cult is revealed and defeated, which is very useful for GMs who still want to make use of the setting after running the adventure.

As I said, it’s not the most original set-up for an adventure, and some wiseacres may almost immediately guess the gist of what’s happening in the town. Despite that, all of the elements are put together so well that it’ll still be an enjoyable experience to see how it all plays out. I’d strongly recommend Feast of Ravenmoor for anyone who can enjoy a classic horror homage in a Pathfinder context.


Versatile and fun

5/5

(I wrote a more detailed review, but the website ate it. Here's the short version.)

This was a solid and fun module to GM. It's put together well. I can't get enough of things like the Founder's Feast event in this, which provide a wealth of roleplaying and problem solving opportunities.

I ran this for 4 very experienced players, with 4th level characters that punched well above their weight. I inserted it as a prequel event to the start of Shattered Star part two, and it worked great for that.

In addition to a lot of tweaks that I made to customize this for my players and campaign, I had to fix some things to adjust the flow of play and the story conclusion. Those were all simple but I think the experience would have suffered some if I didn't have the time or experience to do that.

Still, this is a well thought out module and I give it full marks.


Feast of Ravenmoor Review

5/5

Warning: This review contains spoilers
Written from a GM's perspective.
I ran this for 6 PCs.

I ran this with my group for three sessions (about 3 hours each) and found it to be a wonderfully compact module with great setting and story.

By far the strongest element of this module is its tone and setting. The book gives some really nice additional information about the customs of Ravenmoor that really helps make it feel like a strange backwater village where something isn't quite right. This made it very easy to make the location almost immediately feel mysterious and more than a little creepy. The investigation portion of the adventure was also well done. It gives the players a slow trickle of information that something is wrong, while still denying them a clear picture until the big finale. I also liked how the encounters were included into the adventure. Creatures that were fought, like the stirges and mongrelmen didn't feel like they were just randomly pulled out of the bestiary for the sake of having an encounter. Everything had a backstory and everything felt like it belonged in Ravenmoor.

I don't really have much in the way of criticism for this module. I would warn GMs that the final few fights were reasonably challenging for my party of six. A smaller party might find them to be a bit too deadly. Also, for those familiar with the genre tropes of the adventure some aspects might be a bit predictable. For example, my players immediately expected Shel to be a sacrifice as soon she told them about the Founder's Feast. However, I don't think this ruins the experience, as there is a certain charm in it's familiarity and how well it achieves it's intended tone.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this module to anyone looking for something short, fun and a little bit creepy.


Gold standard for low level modules

5/5

Wonderful gem of a module. The front half is littered with fantastic roleplay elements that do an exceptional job at building the setting as well as acclimating players to small town quirks, while the second half is sure to satisfy both roleplayers and roll-players.

Other reviewers have highlighted that there is an orientation issue on the two large maps that is particularly jarring when describing the transition from one map to the next. However, I would not allow a minor issue like map orientation (that probably wasn't in the hands of the author anyways) to negatively color my opinion of what is otherwise an outstanding module.

Five stars.


Feast your eyes on this.

5/5

I've recently GM'ed this and loved it.

The fights aren't too hard..in the start, but once the PCs get into the final area, they can expect some decent resistance.

The atmosphere in it is fun to RP out too, from both PC and GM perspective.

A hint for the GMs to be running this:
If the PCs are particularly skilled in Sense Motive, and with asking the right questions of the one in charge, choose your words carefully or they might do something unexpected. It gives a more 'surprise!', when they discover the proper person is the BBEG.

The final fight can be potentially deadly for lvl 3. I ran it with 3 lvl 3 and 1 lvl 4. The tactics as written can work, but don't hesitate to have the BBEG play dirty within his options.

All in all, a great module i definitely want to run again in the future.


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